Rookie hazing is a long standing tradition in athletic competition. Bill Parcells had rookies bring him water. Often rookies buy donuts and expensive dinners for the veterans. Martellus Bennett was asked to sing after announcing the amount of his signing bonus (Martellus did not sing). At my high school, sophomores who played at the varsity level had to sing “I’m a Little Tea Pot” at a public pep rally and in private, they received swirlies (dunked their heads in a toilet). And now, Dez Bryant is refusing to carry Roy Williams‘s shoulder pads.
”I just feel like I’m here to play football,” Bryant said. “I’m here to try to help win a championship, not carry someone’s pads. I’m saying that out of no disrespect.”
The question is context. Would Bryant refuse Parcell’s request? Is it Williams alone that Bryant is refusing? Cowboys fans across the nation have an antipathy for Roy Williams. We hope he does well because he is a Cowboy, but many of us look forward to the day that he is no longer so. Generally I’m of the opinion that rookie hazing helps develop bonds of friendship and mutual respect. There is a silent understanding that next year will be your turn to dish out the hazing. However, I have little respect for Williams’s efforts on the field during his 1.75 years as a Cowboy, and I rejoice in Bryant saying no. If Miles Austin asked Bryant to carry his pads, my opinion would differ because I have respect for Austin.
Give Bryant a pass on this one. After making several immature impressions prior to being drafted, Bryant has made a great first impression as a Cowboy.